Returning to the first beat: फिर से सम्म पे आना

Surabhi SHARMA (Director), Tejaswini NIRANJANA (Producer)

Research output: Creative Works (Non-textual form)Film or Video


The metropolitan transformation of Bombay in the nineteenth and twentieth century kept time with changes in the practice and pedagogy of Hindustani classical music in the city. With the decline of the princely states traditional systems of patronage began to unravel. Musicians, among others, began to gravitate to the rapidly growing colonial city of Bombay, in search of new sponsors. This led, in turn, to the formation of a distinctive audience for Hindustani sangeet in the city – one not limited to the princely courts and exclusive homes of the aristocracy. Girgaon was a part of the native town of the colonial city and was one of the key neighbourhoods where the singers, the patrons and the audiences lived.

Phir se samm pe aana strives to experience the space for Hindustani classical music in the city. The film revisits the sites clustered in and around Girgaon where music was taught and performed. It seeks to understand the musical legacy of this neighbourhood, even as it reimagines the documentary mode. This film ‘listens’ to architectural structures in an attempt to reflect on the deep history of this practice. In narrativising the love of music that took shape in this neighbourhood we also seek to experience ‘film time’ rather than evoke a time past or record the present. The film seeks repetition and cyclical time to imagine a narrative on music. Phir se…is an opportunity to experience an interior, almost intimate practice of the musical form.

This film emerged from a research project aimed at understanding Hindustani classical music as part of the intangible urban history of the metropolis of Bombay/Mumbai. The project is a collaboration between Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana and Surabhi Sharma. Through the research phase we produced a series of interviews that are available on the online archive,
Original languageMultiple languages
Media of outputMotion Picture (Documentary)
Size85 mins.
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017


  • Hindustani music
  • documentary film
  • Mumbai

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